Despite Bankruptcy GM Motors Still Has an Obligation to Carefully Weigh Dealership Impact
The economic pain radiating from the auto industry decline has touched home with the slated closure of local dealerships. Considering the magnitude of the impact that the bankruptcy of General Motors is wreaking across the nation, it’s not surprising that we might question its decision making process for eliminating certain dealerships.
Bob Thomas Chevrolet-Cadillac, which turned up on the list of about 1,100 dealers nationwide slated for loosing their franchise, has been put in a particularly precarious position with the threat of losing millions of dollars. Dave Hamilton Chevrolet-Jeep in Redmond also got the news that they were among the eliminated dealerships, however they have decided not to appeal the decision.
Last week Bob Thomas filed an official request attempting to convince GM to move them to the approved list as soon as possible. In bankruptcy, GM will treat the approved go forward dealers much better than the rejected dealers who risk no buy-back of their inventories.
According to Bob Thomas Chevrolet-Cadillac if they lose the Chevrolet and Cadillac franchises, their hope is that they can continue to be an authorized GM service and parts facility, serving current customers and retaining employees.
The 92-year old Bob Thomas Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership has asked GM to reconsider any decision to abandon the Bend marketplace and the points to be considered, in our view, are compelling.
Here is a dealership that began as a repair shop in 1916 and grew into a full service GM dealership, which serves as a vital service center to thousands of GM owners within the Central Oregon region. They are the only GM dealership in the fourth fastest growing Metropolitan Statistical area in the United States. (despite a waning economy it is not likely this measure will change). It is also true that they are the largest and best-equipped GM repair facility between Redding, California and Yakima, Washington on US Hwy. 97 and between Eugene, Oregon and Nampa (Boise), Idaho on US Hwy. 20.
Here is a company that has been a leader in supporting the local economy through its employment and good stewardship of a quality run company as well as a consistent and substantial contributor to local charities and non-profit organizations.
Last year they purchased $1,312,707 of GM parts and stock and $437,855 in parts in 19,629 distinct GM part numbers. Bob Thomas Chevrolet-Cadillac performs $4 million in service and body shop sales per year in 31 service bays with 22 lifts with 20 highly-trained technicians.
Here are two community leaders, Bob and Clella Thomas, who have never failed in their willingness to step forward and champion important issues facing the region (they recently spearheaded the impressive support of keeping the OSU Cascade campus open in Bend slated for possible closure by the legislature).
With so many options available to GM to eliminate and/or retain dealerships in areas with less market share it seems prudent to invest in the Bob Thomas Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership in Central Oregon.